tv John Dingells Casket Arrives at U.S. Capitol CSPAN February 16, 2019 10:33pm-10:43pm EST
>> justice sotomayor, on behalf of eloise, our wonderful former law clerk and the supreme court fellow commission we are so grateful for you for being here and we know that you will always be brave, be bold and be you. [applause] [applause] [captions copyright national cable satellite corp. 2019] [captioning performed by the national captioning institute, which is responsible for its caption content and accuracy. visit ncicap.org]
on newsmakers, randi weingarten, president of the american federation of teachers, talks about strikes. strikes our last resort. teachers do not go on strike unless they have tried everything else. and what you see is that there has been 10 years of historic s,sinvestment of state protecting their disinvestment thesing privatization and disparagement of teachers. and at one point or another the straw was going to break the camel's back, and i think you saw after the women's marches in 2017, the activism on fighting
to make sure we protected pre-existing conditions from the work inrable, terms of gun violence as we are at the year anniversary of teachers started thinking and having the imagination that if they actually worked together, both through their unions and together as teachers, that they could actually achieve what had heretofore been impossible, which is turning around the austerity and the lack of investment. so i think that it is a of the 25 indictment states that spend less today than they did on public education 10 years ago, 41
states spending less on higher education than they did 10 years but there was real attempts over these 10 years to try to use normal lobbying, to use the fact that the public supports public education to try to get the reordering of priorities at the neighborhood public school, and public education which serves 90% of the kids in america should be the priority. and when that failed you started seeing these walkouts, and west virginia, arizona, oklahoma, not charter, chicago schools, los angeles, and frankly even perhaps now in west virginia again. andiewsmakers with r weingarten, president of the american federation of teachers, sunday on c-span. spoke with aently
few of the freshmen members of the 116th congress. up first, representative levin, a democrat of michigan who replaced his father in congress. he also served as deputy director of the michigan department of energy and founded a clean energy firm. prior to his energy work, he spent years working as a union organizer. rep. levin: i started organizing nursing home workers in michigan and later rhode island for the service employees international union. i helped hundreds of nursing women -- nursing home women -- nursing home workers, mostly women and people of color. they won contracts, better pay, vacation. and a lot of times, they won improvements in quality of care for their patients in nursing homes. >> how did you get involved in that work? representative levin: i actually started organizing in college on a number of justice campaigns. we had a hunger strike at my college to demand that the
college divest of the stock of companies that did business in south africa. i worked on peace campaigns, but i also did a campaign to force the college to honor a boycott of the cap and gown manufacturer they used. it had been founded by an alumnus 100 years before. they had always used it, the workers were on strike with the international ladies garment workers union just over the mountains in troy, new york. this was the era of streaking, and i wrote a petition that said that i, the undersigned senior, pledged to go to my own commencement disrobed unless you honor the boycott. well, disrobed means not wearing your cap and down, but it might mean something else. the majority of the senior class signed on and the college honored the boycott. so i had been involved in these kinds of things before i graduated >> where does that
come from? your parents? -- before i graduated. >> where does that come from? your parents? rep. levin: it came from my parents, my family. i think it comes from my religious faith. my judaism. i believe that we are here to make the world a better place. to fight for justice. that has been the orientation of my whole life. >> is there a person or people in your life has influenced you in this way? rep. levin: so many people. you know who i would point out? irene podine, who passed away a long time ago. in my first-ever campaign, she was the leader of workers. they had tried to form a union before. there had been some backstabbing in the union and they lost their election. and she was a nursing home worker her whole life. she did not have a fancy
education, but i thought she was one of the smartest people i had ever met. >> why? rep. levin: her understanding of human nature her understanding of other people, of how -- she would be a master of the politics of the house of representatives or the senate if she was in that different station in life. so i have always felt that -- i reject elitist views of the say, i am a member of congress. people think they are better than somebody. no i am here to fight for the , working people of the country. dine, whoke irene poe din was a real hero to me. when you try to form a union in this country, our laws do not actually protect american workers, and you put your job at risk. she showed a lot of courage and tactical and procedural
wisdom in running that campaign. >> why did you decide to run for the seat? rep. levin: the working people of this country have gotten the short end of the stick for 40 years, my whole adult life. wages are stagnant. people do not have enough savings. wages have gone the way of the dodo bird for most people. people do not have good access to health care they can afford. i am here to fight for working so people, to raise the standard of living of working people in this country, and really make the american dream real again for working americans. >> congressman, did you grow up in michigan? representative levin: i did. i was born in detroit but i was raised in berkeley, michigan. and i lived there, my whole growing up was there. >> what is it about your michigan background that shaped you and that you bring here to washington? rep. levin: in michigan, we are about rolling up our sleeves and getting things done. the people of the ninth district of michigan are practical and they want to see results.
they want to see us work together to do the business of the american people. that is the attitude i bring here. we are people that make things. we are people that invent things. and we are interested in how to solve problems. and that is what i think, you know, i hope to bring to the congress. >> pennsylvania's sixth district also brought a new face to washington, chrissy houlahan. she is a businesswoman who comes from a long line of military. she is also the daughter and granddaughter of holocaust survivors. rep. houlahan: my father was one year old when the war happened. he came here after world war ii. he was hidden with a christian family for the first several years of his life. and when the war ended, my grandmother came to find him after surviving in the camps. they came to this country when he was five or six years old.